Application form 

Background checks 

Application omissions 

Application approval 

Appealing denials 

Application validity period 

Nonresident applications 

Course requirements 

Education exemptions 

Fees The FREC charges fees for: 

 licensure application 

 examination 

 reexamination 

 licensing 

 license renewal 

 license reinstatement 

 unlicensed activity 

 the Real Estate Recovery Fund 

License examination fees and fingerprint processing fees are paid directly to the testing vendor. If for any reason the application for licensure is not completely processed, the application fee may be refunded. Section 2: Real Estate License Law / Qualifications for Licensure 27 

There are maximum limits set for each fee based on the estimate of funds the Commission needs for operations. In case of an excess in the funds collected, the Department may waive license renewal fees for up to 2 years. If the funds run low, the fee amount can be increased or the FREC can charge a one-time fee from each active and inactive licensee to remove the deficit. 

Waivers. Florida waives the initial licensing fee for the following individuals: 

A member of the U.S. armed forces who served on active duty, a spouse who was married to a member while on active duty, and a surviving spouse of a member who died while on active duty 

A low-income person whose pretax household income is at or below a specified percentage of the federal poverty guidelines based on the family’s household size and proven by enrollment in a public assistance program 

These individuals must pay the application fee, unlicensed activity fee, the Real Estate Recovery Fund fee, examination fee, and the fingerprint processing fee. 

Florida also waives the initial licensing fee, the initial application fee, and the initial unlicensed activity fee for 

A military veteran or the veteran’s spouse if he or she applies for licensure within 60 months after the veteran has been honorably discharged from active duty in any branch of the U.S. armed forces. 

These individuals must pay the examination fee, the fingerprint processing fee, and the Real Estate Recovery Fund fee. 

Application form Applicants for a Florida real estate license must submit the designated DBPR application form as provided on the DBPR’s website. The application must include the applicant’s social security number and name as it appears on the applicant’s social security card. 

The applicant must also submit any additional documentation required by the Department, including documentation on the applicant’s education, work history, criminal history, discipline, fingerprints, and so on. 

Background checks Applicants for a real estate license in Florida must submit to a background check and provide their fingerprints to the DBPR. 

Fingerprints. Applicants may use any approved Level 2 FDLE fingerprinting Livescan vendor to submit their fingerprints. When submitting fingerprints, the applicant must also submit the Originating Agency Identification (ORI) number (which can be found on the website). 

Background check. On receiving the applicant’s fingerprints, the Department will forward them to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI for 28 Principles of Real Estate Practice in Florida 

use in conducting a criminal history check on the applicant. Both agencies will send their background reports to the DBPR, usually within 3-5 days. To allow for adequate processing time, applicants should submit their fingerprints at least 5 days prior to submitting the license application. The DBPR will use these reports to determine if the applicant is qualified for examination and licensure based on the presence or lack of a criminal history. 

Criminal history. If the background report indicates a criminal history, it is best if the applicant has already provided all associated information to the Department along with the application. This is accomplished by answering all application background questions completely and honestly and including documentation that provides details of any investigations, convictions, guilty pleas, or nolo contendere pleas with dates, findings, and penalties. 

If the penalties have already been satisfied, the applicant should include documentation proving the satisfaction for each conviction. 

Any applicant currently on probation as a result of a conviction should also include an official letter from the probation officer regarding the status of the current probation. The applicant may also want to include at least three character references with the application and other documentation. One reference letter may be from a family member, but all others must be from other people who know the applicant and can attest to his or her character. 

Summary of applicants. If an applicant’s background check indicates a criminal history, the application is placed on a Summary of Applicants list and submitted to the FREC for review in its monthly meeting. During the review, the FREC will determine if the applicant is approvable for examination and licensure or if the application requires additional consideration and information. 

Additional information on digital fingerprinting and the approved vendors can be found on the DBPR’s website at An applicant may order a criminal background report on him or herself on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s website at 


omissions If an applicant makes an error or omits pertinent information on the application, the licensing department must notify the applicant within 30 days of receiving the application. The notice is to include any additional information needed and a time period for the applicant is to make the corrections and submit additional information. If the department does not send the notice within 30 days, they may not deny the application for the uncorrected errors and omissions. 


approval The Department must approve or deny a license application within 90 days of receiving it. If the Department fails to meet that deadline, the application is considered approved by default. Applicants who are approved by default are to notify the Department in writing of their intent to rely on the default approval. If the Commission denies the application, it must notify the applicant in writing of Section 2: Real Estate License Law / Qualifications for Licensure 29 

the denial and reasons for denial. The notice must inform the applicant of his or her appeal rights. 

Appealing denials If an application has been denied, the applicant will receive a Notice of Intent to Deny. He or she then has the right to choose to: 

 accept the denial and forfeit the opportunity to become licensed 

 petition for an informal hearing before the FREC to present argument against the reasons for denial 

 petition for a formal hearing before an administrative law judge to review the denial order 

An applicant who chooses to request a hearing on the denial must file a petition with the DRE within 21 days of receiving the denial notice. 


validity period Initial application. The initial license application remains valid for two years after the date it was received by the DBPR. 

Exam eligible. The applicant has two years after completing the prelicense course work to pass the licensure examination. If the applicant fails to pass the examination within those two years, the completed course work becomes invalid. 


applications See “Nonresident license requirements” section below. 


requirements The FREC requires applicants for licensure to complete prelicense real estate educational courses. These can be taken at an accredited college or university, a career center, or registered real estate school. 

Each classroom hour is equal to 50 minutes with each license type requiring a specific number of classroom hours (see requirements sections below). Missing more than 8 classroom hours during the course is an automatic failure. If a student misses more than 8 hours due to student or family illness, he or she may attend make-up classes within 30 days of the scheduled end-of-course examination date. Classes taken after the 30 days need Commission approval. Make-up classes must cover the same material as the classes missed. 

After completing the coursework, the applicant must pass an end-of-course examination with a score of 70% or higher. A student who fails the examination may retake a different form of the examination 30 days after failing. The student may retake the examination only one time during the year after failing. If the student does not pass the end-of-course examination within the year, the student must repeat the prelicense courses. 

When the student completes the coursework and passes the end-of-course examination, the school must provide the student with a certificate of course completion and notify the FREC of all students who completed the course. 30 Principles of Real Estate Practice in Florida 

The FREC is required to approve distance learning courses through Internet streaming or other means of video conferencing as an option to classroom hours. Students taking distance learning courses must pass a timed course examination. 

The prelicense courses must also be made available by correspondence or other suitable means for students whose hardships prevent them from attending the classroom courses and from having access to distance learning courses. 

Students with a 4-year degree or higher are exempt from post-licensing requirements for both Sales Associates and brokers. They will immediately start 14-hour continuing education requirements. 

A prelicense student may demonstrate FREC-approved minimal competencies that show the student is qualified for licensure as a substitute for taking specific classroom hours. 


exemptions Persons seeking licensure who are exempt from the requirement to complete prelicense education include the following. 

 An active attorney in good standing with the Florida Bar who is qualified under real estate license law may obtain a real estate sales associate license without completing prelicense education courses. However, attorneys must pass the licensure examination. 

 Anyone who has earned a 4-year degree or higher in real estate from a school of higher education may obtain a real estate license without completing prelicense education courses. However, individuals with this degree must pass the licensure examination. 

 A nonresident licensed in a state that has a mutual recognition agreement with Florida may obtain a real estate license without completing prelicense education courses. However, these nonresidents must pass a 40-question licensure examination.